Mercedes-Benz Forum banner
1 - 20 of 42 Posts

·
Registered
W210 1996 E320 Smoke Silver. [W124 1990 300CE Artic White - Sold].
Joined
·
814 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all,

My instrument cluster has no gauges working. All other elements are OK, that means when I turn the ignition key to position 2, all warn signals for ABS, BRAKE, ETS, Seat belt, CHECK ENGINE are on. After starting the engine they are off as expected, except for the parking brake signal. (pic 1 & 2)

Backlight illumination for headlight, as well as turn signal, high beam are working fine. All pixel displays for trip odometer, odometer, outside temperature and clock are on and no missing pixel.

The big issues are the needles of the gauges for engine temperature, fuel level, speed (when moving) and rmp (pressing gas pedal at neutral position "P"), all 4 needles are dead. The needle for speed vibrates a little but does not leave the resting position.

I replaced the cluster with a used but otherwise supposedly working one, same error. Then someone suggested that the relay unit K40 could be the cause; I bought a new one from autohausaz.com, replaced the old one today without success (pic 3). I also made sure that the connectors are firmly attached to the cluster, reached into the cavity behind the connected cluster and wiggled every cable harness to see if there is some loose contact.

Now I really do not know what to do. Normally when I got few or no reply I accept quietly that my question is either stupid or difficult :p:, now I am giving it another try and hope for some help.

In pic 4 is the wiring diagram for the group of needles, it is not clear to me as to which pin from the connector goes to which gauge.

If I had to take my car to dealership, what do you think it will cost me?
Please give your comments, every input is highly appreciated, be it a sympathy or consolation :bow:











 

·
Registered
1996 210.020
Joined
·
3,972 Posts
Normally it's best to use the old thread for an existing problem, but you did a good job with the pictures. Once you figure out what's going on, it would be good to save the images as attachments so that they will live with the thread, perhaps outliving your photobucket account.

Those connectors are "A" and "B" on the diagram, connected to the part "A1", I believe. I do not know which is which, though. Perhaps it's not hard to figure that out based on the wire colors.

Find the legend for the wiring diagram. S2 should be the ignition switch. Do you have power on that wire to terminal 6 of connector A?
 

·
Registered
W210 1996 E320 Smoke Silver. [W124 1990 300CE Artic White - Sold].
Joined
·
814 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Matt for your kind feedback. I was also thinking of follow up the old thread but there was a pre-history with my old instrument cluster, what would be too digresssive. With a new thread I hoped to bring it to the point without all the prvious guessings and fixing attemps

Needs the cluster be reprogrammed by dealer in order for the gauges to work again? I would not mind the 8K miles more than my older one.
 

·
Registered
W210 1996 E320 Smoke Silver. [W124 1990 300CE Artic White - Sold].
Joined
·
814 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I removed the cluster and measured the voltage at the two connectors. The first picture show the measurement of the left connector, the second picture for the right connector:

Left connector has power only at pin C1 (11.6 V) and pin L2 (7.47V) and that is suspicious too few pins.
Right connector has power at pin A6, 8, 9, 11 and B3.

The minus sign "-" at the pins means 0.0V was measured, probably ground.

Can someone interprete the measurement, is power missing at some pin? especially of the left connector?




 

·
Registered
210.065
Joined
·
2,947 Posts
Dear Tex, it seems that you welcome any input, so... :) As you have already replaced your cluster unit, and with the same symptoms afterwards, that means the cluster unit is fine. One suggestion to ensure is to find a friend who would let you try your old cluster to see if it works. My guess from the diagrams is that all the moving parts (gauges) are controlled by one harness or control unit. Another point to note is that the low fuel light is OFF when the engine is on, that means the fuel sensor and the cluster are working fine. So it could be the problem with the harness (which only control all the moving needles) itself, such as a broken wire somewhere. Have you tried to wiggle the harness while you are pressing on the pedal? Or besides the K40 unit, is there another unit that gives input to the cluster, which could be the culprit? Good luck.
 

·
Registered
210.065
Joined
·
2,947 Posts
My first reply do not have the harness hub voltage details.

Pin 4,11,2,5,6,8,5 seem to be the possible pins in the bottom pic, they are all low/no voltage. Did you measure them with the accelerator slightly pressed?
 

·
Registered
W210 1996 E320 Smoke Silver. [W124 1990 300CE Artic White - Sold].
Joined
·
814 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My first reply do not have the harness hub voltage details.

Pin 4,11,2,5,6,8,5 seem to be the possible pins in the bottom pic, they are all low/no voltage. Did you measure them with the accelerator slightly pressed?
Hi iluvjesus, I measured the pins with the engine not started, just turn the key to position 2, since I did not know what to measure. I will take another measurement tomorrow with engine running. It is now past midnight in Dallas, I think I'd better hit the sack. Tomorrow will be a long day in the office with the endless boring meetings.

Good night!
 

·
Registered
210.065
Joined
·
2,947 Posts
I still think there is another relay other than K40 which relay all the needle-related inputs to the instrument cluster. Good luck with your meetings too. Good night.
 

·
Registered
1995 E250 Diesel W210.010/605.912
Joined
·
66 Posts
Dear texholdem,
As I told you in my last reply my electrician told me (I experienced the same failure) this is a common failure in W210 clustrers...
Probably the used one IC you baought had the same failure too...
I wonder how much did you pay for the used IC and for the K40 module...
I would recommend you go to the guy who sold you the IC and ask him to let you try another one (it will be easy for you after all that work you have already done) I would bet it will work...
let us know the results since I have the same problem my self...
Good Luck
 

·
Registered
W210 1996 E320 Smoke Silver. [W124 1990 300CE Artic White - Sold].
Joined
·
814 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
New voltage measurement at right connector A-B with engine hot and running, headlight on, applying middle pressure on gas pedal .

A6: 13.22 V
A8: 12.45 V
A9: 13.04 V
A11: 13.2 V
A13: 13.2 V

B1: surges from 0 to 13.98 V with gas pedal
B3: 7.36 V instead of 10.67 V measured yesterday with engine not running

Ground at A3 and A12 very good.

What do the numbers mean?
 

·
Registered
1996 210.020
Joined
·
3,972 Posts
A6 is clearly power, but I don't know what the others do. I wish I knew the answer to this one; certainly you wish it more.

I saw that the post on mercedesshop didn't help much yet either, but who knows. I assume that you've posted elsewhere too -- maybe somebody has seen this.

Of course, it could be a bad cluster. I know, that's two.
 

·
Registered
210.065
Joined
·
2,947 Posts
New voltage measurement at right connector A-B with engine hot and running, headlight on, applying middle pressure on gas pedal .

A6: 13.22 V
A8: 12.45 V
A9: 13.04 V
A11: 13.2 V
A13: 13.2 V

B1: surges from 0 to 13.98 V with gas pedal
B3: 7.36 V instead of 10.67 V measured yesterday with engine not running

Ground at A3 and A12 very good.

What do the numbers mean?
Voltages presence means that the 2nd-hand cluster is faulty too...
 

·
Registered
W210 1996 E320 Smoke Silver. [W124 1990 300CE Artic White - Sold].
Joined
·
814 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for your inputs, I am looking for another cluster right now, used again. Who can afford a $1K new cluster on a $4K old car? :)
 

·
Registered
W210 1996 E320 Smoke Silver. [W124 1990 300CE Artic White - Sold].
Joined
·
814 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It would be useless to try another cluster. This morning I could see that the instrument cluster was working and in perfect condition during the 30 min ride to work, all gauges were fine for speed, rmp, ECT and fuel level. Parked the car, turned engine off and retry ... no needles moving.

So it must be a loose contact somewhere, pulled out the cluster but did not disconnect the connectors, wiggled, wiggled, wiggled all reachable cables in the cavity behind the steering wheel, nothing changes.

That is very frustrating since I don't know where to look for this elusive failure. I'd rather have a defective part than that. :( :( :(
 

·
Registered
210.065
Joined
·
2,947 Posts
It would be useless to try another cluster. This morning I could see that the instrument cluster was working and in perfect condition during the 30 min ride to work, all gauges were fine for speed, rmp, ECT and fuel level. Parked the car, turned engine off and retry ... no needles moving.

So it must be a loose contact somewhere, pulled out the cluster but did not disconnect the connectors, wiggled, wiggled, wiggled all reachable cables in the cavity behind the steering wheel, nothing changes.

That is very frustrating since I don't know where to look for this elusive failure. I'd rather have a defective part than that. :( :( :(
I think it is the cluster's problem still, sometimes it works, sometimes doesn't, you need to get another one. And in my opinion/experience, $4k is for the exterior only, everything under the hood could be a mess. Good luck my friend. It cant be worse than the financial crisis. You will get through this. :) :)
 

·
Registered
1995 E250 Diesel W210.010/605.912
Joined
·
66 Posts
texholdem,
I noticed something bizzarre the last couple of days...
when I turn the key very quick to position 2 all gauges work fine...
If I do it slowly then all are dead...
Try it yourself...maybe our trouble comes from switch not from cluster...
Since I own a diesel I have to wait for diesel to warm up before cranking...
 

·
Registered
W210 1996 E320 Smoke Silver. [W124 1990 300CE Artic White - Sold].
Joined
·
814 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
texholdem,
I noticed something bizzarre the last couple of days...
when I turn the key very quick to position 2 all gauges work fine...
If I do it slowly then all are dead...
Try it yourself...maybe our trouble comes from switch not from cluster...
Since I own a diesel I have to wait for diesel to warm up before cranking...
Just tried 10 times as you suggested, no luck. Waiting for CBFInTheODD's reply from the other post.
 

·
Registered
'01-E320 & 02-ST2
Joined
·
31,631 Posts
It would be useless to try another cluster. This morning I could see that the instrument cluster was working and in perfect condition during the 30 min ride to work, all gauges were fine for speed, rmp, ECT and fuel level. Parked the car, turned engine off and retry ... no needles moving.

So it must be a loose contact somewhere, pulled out the cluster but did not disconnect the connectors, wiggled, wiggled, wiggled all reachable cables in the cavity behind the steering wheel, nothing changes.

That is very frustrating since I don't know where to look for this elusive failure. I'd rather have a defective part than that. :( :( :(
Try the connectors to the ignition switch, but be sure to disconnect the battery first. Foul up the DAS and you'll really be unhappy.

Have you checked all of the ground connections? Under seat, under hood (left and right fenders, one to the engine near the transmission IIRC) and whereever they might be under the dash...anyone know?

There are a bunch of them on each of the fenders, mine on the drivers' side were loose so I pulled them and cleaned and tightened back up, disconnected the battery first just in case.

Take care and enjoy the ride,
Greg
 

·
Registered
W210 1996 E320 Smoke Silver. [W124 1990 300CE Artic White - Sold].
Joined
·
814 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Hi Greg, I saw 2 ground points, one between the firewall and the relay box on right fender and the other one on the left fender near the ABS unit. Anyone knows where are other ground?

Edit: I have checked the ground at the right connector to the cluster at pin A3 and A12 and it seems OK.

How can I get to the connector to the ignition switch, removing steering wheel first? Thanks!




 

·
Registered
W210 1996 E320 Smoke Silver. [W124 1990 300CE Artic White - Sold].
Joined
·
814 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Found all ground locations

I gonna to check them.
















 
1 - 20 of 42 Posts
Top